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[cdt-l] Hello, etc. (First post).


Good luck wherever & whenever you may hike! The CDT has a somewhat
limited "weather window" if you want to hike the whole thing in one shot
(without flipping around much, etc). S->N there's usually not much point
in starting before mid April as you'll run into difficult snow in
Colorado (unless you go really slow!). It usually takes around 4-6 weeks
to hike NM. N->S you really don't want to start before early June. Both
those dates are subject to +/- variations depending on the previous
winter's snowpack. If 03/04 is a heavy winter down south, you may not
even want to go S->N without flipping at some point... My best advice
would be to keep your plans fluid until you're closer to a start date.
The only problem is that in mid Dec, the winter won't be over yet & you
won't know the snowpack situation. 

The FT idea isn't a bad one! I doubt anybody's linked it with the CDT,
but then again, there are a lot of people walking around the country at
any given time... who knows (I wanted to do a PNT/CDT hike, but just
couldn't get it together in time). You can pretty much hike anywhere
there's land - if you don't mind walking on roads, etc. Another idea
might be to start somewhere like the southern tip of Texas & follow the
border to the CDT. Or, start at the US/Mex border at the Gulf? Or, if
you're ambitious, start in Mexico somewhere. The continental divide, as
a geographical feature, doesn't end till Tierra Del Fuego!

Hiking alone isn't insane, but it might be a little more difficult on
the CDT if you haven't had much long distance hiking experience and/or
don't have a really determined attitude. When I hiked the PCT, I had
little experience & benefited immeasurably from the experience and
encouragement of others I met. I met a couple guys on the CDT last year
who were having a miserable time mostly because they had too much stuff
& didn't have a "thru-hiking mentality" (which is a hard thing to
describe) - they didn't realize the hike didn't HAVE to be miserable.
They ended up quitting, which was too bad because 2001 was a great year
to hike the CDT (weather-wise).

You have time to figure that stuff out though... doing some
"progressively longer trips" will probably help a lot. Plus, for all I
know, you already have a really good idea of what a thru-hike is like...
I guess it depends on you.

Be well,


-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net
[mailto:cdt-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2002 4:48 PM
To: cdt-l@mailman.backcountry.net
Subject: [cdt-l] Hello, etc. (First post).


I'm Devin McGhee, a college student from Chicago
planning on doing the CDT as soon as I get out of

I've got a problem though, due to various things, I'll
be getting out of school smack dab in the middle of
winter (early Dec '03) and I'll want to get backpacking
by early January probably (I know this is a year and a
half from now but...) Obviously this is not the time to
start the CDT from the north or from the south. So
here's what I'm wondering: Is there some way that any
of you know about that I could put together a few
months worth of backpacking in the south (since I'm
going to be packing during winter) that would get me on
the CDT at the proper time from the south?

One more quick thing... I'm planning on doing the trip
solo (assuming I don't meet any one on the trail that I
end up packing with). This will be my first looong trip
(done a number of short trips before, and I have a
series of progressively longer ones planned between now
and when I'm done with school), and is soloing it
patently insane?

Thanks in advance...

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